Riyadh: The invention of a Saudi prince has grabbed the attention of the world.
Prince Nayef Bin Mamdouh Bin Abdul Aziz was recently honoured with the grand prize of the International Federation for Inventors (IFIA) for his entry at the 27th Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions, a rescue and relief helicopter complete with a massive firefighting unit.
Speaking to Gulf News, Prince Nayef explained how his invention worked. The main feature of the rescue craft is a water tank with the capacity to hold a shocking 33,000 litres of water, which is one fourth the size of the aircraft.
The capacity of the tank may be increased depending on the size of the helicopter. In addition, there is also provision to accommodate 18 fire fighters who can secure themselves to the craft and descend to a safe distance to combat fires in inaccessible terrain or high altitudes.
Additionally, a control room helps track the progress of rescue operations and an electronic elevator can be extended below to rescue trapped people.
The prince's invention received widespread attention in the wake of the recent devestating wildfires in Australia with Western experts expressing amazement at the possibilities it opens for firefighters in remote and normally inaccessible areas.
"My message to the West through this invention is that the religion of Islam attaches great importance to the prevention of killing innocent souls," Prince Nayef said urging Western firms that manufacture helicopters to take advantage of his invention saying they would be doing "a great service for humanity."
The prince is among three Saudi inventors, who were awarded prizes at the Geneva exhibition, the world's largest event of its kind, which hosted exhibitors from 45 countries.
Saudi inventor Mohammad Masaed Al Matrafi received a prize instituted by the Association of Malaysian Science and Research for his 'safe swimming pool' which can sense a person out of his depth and raise the floor level accordingly.
Mazen Ba Abbad, another Saudi inventor won an award instituted by Geneva Tourism for his water purification system.